The Terrific Little White Lie I Told That Made Me an Asshole Parent

I am an asshole parent. 

That’s right. I said it. I am a mother of soon to be six-year-old and my oldest is in sixth grade. She is amazing and talented and I love her but she does not understand my native language of sarcasm. 

To begin this story I have to tell you that as a child growing up I was super gullible. My daughter has inherited that gene and I use it against her for my amusement sometimes, just to see how far I can push the limits until she catches on. 

A few months ago, we were driving home from school when she asked me, “Mom, what happened to Uncle Dave’s finger?” 

Uncle Dave has been missing his finger since before I was born, as a gullible child I was told their giant parrot bit it off. It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that my aunt told me that he had lost it at the factory he worked at in a freak accident way before my time. See, Gullible gene. I was honestly 25 before I was told that it wasn’t the bird and spent my entire life slightly afraid of birds and their deadly beaks. I decided to give my daughter a story that she should have caught on to rather quickly but alas, but to my infinite amusement, she did not. 

So I replied: “He sneezed it off.”

My child : “No he didn’t! That’s impossible!” 

Mom: “No seriously! Did you know sneezes can travel up to 200 MPH. We are driving 65 mph right now but if you stuck your arm out the window at this speed and we hit something, would it not rip your arm off?” 

My child: “Sneezes go 200mph? I don’t believe you.”

Mom: “Google it on your phone then.” 

Child to phone: “Hey google, how fast is a sneeze?


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Google: “A human sneeze can go up to 150mph.”

Child: “See mom, you were wrong.”

Me: “Yes but it is still 150 mph and that is enough speed to rip a finger or two off. That is why I have taught you to sneeze into your arm, your arm is sturdier than your delicate little fingers.”

Our conversation is ended abruptly by one of my other children screaming in the back seat and as the life of a busy mom, we never got back to it. 

That is until two months later when my child climbs into my van after school and she’s crying…

I am trying to figure out what the heck is going on while still driving safely through the crazy school traffic. 

Me: “What happened, are you ok?”

Child hiccuping through tears: “The kids in choir class keep telling me I am stupid, but all I did was tell them what you told me.”

Me, thinking WELL CRAP, WHAT DID I SAY: “What exactly happened? Start from the beginning.” 

Child: Well today Mrs, B, my choir teacher sneezed into her hand, so I told her that she could sneeze her fingers off but she didn’t believe me. I told her how fast your sneezes are and that it has the power to rip through your fingers and that she should always sneeze into her arm, and she won’t believe me. You need to go tell her so she doesn’t hurt herself.”

Me, in stunned realization of what kind of embarrassment I have caused my poor child, but unable to resist: *uncontrollable laughter* 

You guys I am talking full on belly laughing, snorting and can’t breathe. I had trolled my kid so hard and it was so perfect. I will never forget this moment, I will bring it up to future boyfriends, I will use it in speeches at future events for her, her kids and her grandkids will know this story. 

I finally control myself long enough to look at her, her tiny sixth-grade face that has mascara running down her cheeks and mutter, “sorry” 

I let her know that I was just joking with her about the sneezes but forgot to correct it and that I was so very sorry. 

Her crestfallen face said it all, but she still whispered, “So you lied to me?” 

I replied, I didn’t mean to- I forget to tell you the truth, and I am sorry. 

And in the clearest voice she could muster, as she squared her shoulders at me,

“You’re an asshole” 

Well, I can’t argue with that.

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